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SAP Executive Q&A – #sapteched09

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Here at SAP Tech Ed 2009 and my first session is an executive Q&A. First up was some discussion of the day’s announcements:

  • Extension of engagement with HP, integrated Neoview with Business Warehouse so customers can combine Business Objects and Neoview. as well as extending the services relationship (obviously important given HP’s acquisition of EDS).
  • SAP EcoHub (SAP’s partner marketplace) is a year old now and is being extended to the 1,100 service partners not just products. This continues to grow and is good for SAP because it allows partners to bring the specialty knowledge of specific niches to the general platform of SAP applications.
  • Working with Open Text more to improve the handling of large volumes of text, clearly a focus area for many companies as they try and move from only handling structured information in their information systems.
  • Business Suite 7.0 is the most modular as well as the most extensive version. There are now more than 3,000 services being surfaced that can be orchestrated with Netweaver and the process orchestration features.

Social media, and the integration of all of this into processes and crowd-sourcing, is clearly going to be a focus area. SAP believes, correctly, that someone joining the workforce today will expect to use social networking technologies everywhere and this needs to be built in. Especially when it comes to BPM and distributed teams, social media is clearly going to have a role.

An interesting question came up around the focus on unstructured information and the parallel focus on governance, risk and compliance/identity management. SAP sees these coming together over time as GRC must include unstructured information. And of course this leads back to social networking and communities.

The challenge of change came up in several questions and Vishal took a look at programming approaches. Roughly ever 10 years, Vishal says, a new programming language/programming model comes to the fore. The question then is how to construct long-lived software applications given this rate of change. In addition, SAP is starting to provide cloud-based services so they can be consumed in composite applications. Business By Design, for mid-markets and in limited release, is cloud based but clearly SAP does not see cloud computing as critical to its future. Interesting.

Anyway, more of an executive chat than a real Q&A.

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